Spanish Explorations

Another two weeks have gone by and I find myself halfway through my volunteer stint. I have another six weeks left in Spain before I jump on a plane and head to the UK.

I must admit I have been a little homesick the last week wanting my kitchen and my bed and my crossfit gym. I see the posts and videos from the gym and wish I was there, not tucked in the forest trying to do handstand push ups without a wall (as I attempted to do today).

Just another thing to add to my list of weird stuff the volunteer does.

Last week I was doing box jumps near the school on a perfect concrete wall, when thirty students walked by with a teacher, all looking at me very strangely. I turned my back and continued jumping. I then went on to do tricep dips and burpees and I just don’t think these are common exercises outdoors.

The week before that it rained (a rare occasion in these parts – first rain in three months) and I happened to be wearing canvas shoes. I removed my shoes and socks, pulled up my jeans and walked home barefoot. It is about two and a half kilometres and while I had quite a few people slow down only one stopped asking me if I was ok.

My feet were numb when I got home but my shoes were relatively dry.

I have stopped watching Peppa Pig and Sponge Bob and am not doing Spanish lessons online for hours each night as I don’t have time. Instead I have been editing golf videos and writing and have started planning my golfing adventures in Ireland and Scotland.

My Spanish has certainly improved and while I still learn new words each week I am not devouring everything I can as listening to Catalan just confuses the issue. I have decided I will go to Peru, Bolivia or Argentina next year to volunteer and continue my learning.

I have noticed that I sometimes struggle to spell English words as I want to spell them phonetically as you do in Spanish – any mistakes I blame on this.

I decided to help a friend renovate (not quite sure why) and went to Sant Sadurni d’Anoia for five nights. We did have a good deal, he fed me and paid me twenty five euro a day (this covers my car hire for my golfing in Spain) although I am not sure who got the better deal. I cleaned and organized his tools, removed a built in, demolished a wall, ripped out the kitchen, painted the wardrobes, prepped and painted the hallway.

In Australia when I help my friends work at their place we usually grab something to eat at the house and continue working. Not in Spain.

Joan Anton was perplexed why I wasn’t showering to go to lunch. I was perplexed as to why we were going to have a sit down lunch at a restaurant when we had work to do.

We had just demolished a wall and lugged 25kg bags of debris down the stairs but I did wash my face, brush the dust from my hair and changed out of the borrowed clothes I was working in.

Lunch was fantastic but it was two hours before we were back at the apartment working.

While in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia I also went to Joan’s mothers art studio, ran around town (again to the curiosity of the locals), joined twenty six of Joan’s friends for lunch and watched locals dance in the plaza in front of the church.

The weekend just gone I headed into Barcelona and spent hours eating and looking and tasting and photographing at La Boqueria. I had completely missed the market when I was there a few weeks ago as I had been watching Marilyn Monroe dance on the balcony of the Erotic Museum and had my back to the market while I walked by.

I then met up with my mate Marc. We went to a spa, then dinner at Joanet, then on to an Irish pub for a English language group meeting. I was more interested in the football on television and when we went to leave, ice hockey had just come on so I stood in the doorway watching for about five minutes.

The only hockey I have seen all season.

School is going well and today I joined the religion teachers and went on a school excursion to the Sagrada Família. George (one of the teachers) had asked me on my first day at school if I would like to join them and reminded me every time he passed me in the halls.

I was in Barcelona fourteen years ago and walked the stairs to the top and was hoping to do this again but the stairs were all blocked off and I understand our ticket didn’t allow for going up.

So much has changed and yet nothing has.

Construction is set for completion in 2026 and considering that the first stone was laid in 1882, I imagine it will be quite the celebration when it is finally complete.

The tour was in Spanish (of course) and I listened intently at the introduction with the students and was pleased to have understood seventy percent of what the guide said. Once we were inside I was looking around, taking photos, listening in at times and others just tuning out and enjoying the architecture. The guide came up to me and asked me if I understood or had any questions, I focused on her (I was staring at the windows) and admitted I only listened to her some of the time.

Much to the amusement of the kids within earshot.

After the tour we had about forty minutes to wander about on our own and I headed back inside to see if I could climb the stairs – no such luck. I popped into all the little side rooms and when I went to walk in one I was stopped by security who questioned whether I was going to pray. I admitted I was not and he pointed at a little sign and told me to go away.

It was a prayer zone and as I was on the heals of a gentleman he let go by without question, I must not look like one who prays.

I then headed outside and sat within the gates waiting for 1pm and the rest of the group to finish. I pulled an apple out of my bag and was chatting to some lovely Canadian women when a security guard came over and admonished me for eating. Apparently you are not allowed to eat there. I looked at my half eaten apple that I was very much enjoying and loathe to throw it away, I jammed it in the container with my salad to eat once outside the gates.

I played golf at Club de Golf Montanyá two weeks ago and have just finished editing the final video today. It is one of the best courses I have ever played. Amazing tracked tucked away in the mountains and every hole is beautiful. My golf wasn’t beautiful but the course certainly is and the food – the best meal I have had in Spain so far.

This weekend I have booked a car and Friday I am golfing at Club de Golf Llavaneras, Saturday I am going to Girona to explore and will stay there overnight, then Sunday I am golfing at Golf de Pals.

 

There will be no Spanish lessons with Peppa Pig next week but golf edits, golf planning and golf writing.

 

 

 

 

 

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